I just loaded it up and fired it to 500 to see how well I can control it. We learned alot with our Hitzer. We wanted to give it away within the first week we had it until we learned how to control it. The best advice we ever got was to never disturb a coal fire any more than you have to. We shake it in the morning, fill the hopper, empty the ash pan, shake it at night, fill the hopper, empty the ash pan. So simple... a caveman could do it!